Cesare Prandelli has given some more hints as to his tactics against England and admits Italy “are not the best, but we are very determined.”
The Coach spoke to RAI before tonight’s Euro 2012 quarter-final and was a little more open than he had been about the system.
“I slept very well and don’t feel the pressure, as the lads have done a good job. We know it is a very difficult game, as we are facing a strong and very organised team. We must do well to understand their tempo.
“We used Daniele De Rossi at centre-back in emergency situations, when using the three-man defence. Now he is returning to midfield because we need his quality there.”
Antonio Cassano and Mario Balotelli are expected to start in attack with support from either Thiago Motta or Riccardo Montolivo.
“Is Cassano irreplaceable? Nobody is. Antonio is an important player, though, as he really wanted to make it for this tournament and showed great character. Cassano can give us a great deal.
“Balotelli did well in his Press conference, he handled the situation.
“All of us bring something to the table, including in terms of ideas. I tried to bring ideas of quality football and at times we managed it, others not, as we haven’t had much time to work on things.”
A victory this evening would put Italy into the semi-final against Germany, the side they defeated in the 2006 World Cup.
“Can we reach the Final? We are not the best side, but we are very determined. In a game there are many incidents that can affect a result,” continued Prandelli.
Azzurri supporters are expected to be dwarfed in Kiev tonight, where only around 2,000 are expected compared to England’s 10,000.
“So far Italy have done what they had to and now we hope something wonderful can happen. The support of our fans will be crucial, as we need their passion, especially as the other nations have huge fanbases out here.
“It’s a shame that so many stayed at home, but we realise it is a moment of financial crisis.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.